China Air Pollution

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, China has abundant tourism resources, the vast majority of which are of great renown. However, the number of tourists visiting China declined from 2013, mostly due to its increasingly serious air pollution. Many cities have been adversely affected by hazy weather since the beginning of 2013. This is especially true of central and eastern China’s cities such as Tangshan, Jinan, Zhengzhou, and Xi'an for example.

It is known to all that the rapid development of China’s economy in the past 30 years resulted in environmental degradation. Nevertheless, the hazy weather records of China in 2013 attracted global attention. It is a pity that as a consequence some foreign residents choose to give up their jobs and life in China.

China Air Pollution Map

As what can be seen from the above map, central China, eastern and south China are the most effected districts, especially the Yangtze River Delta including Shanghai. Not without consequence, this air pollution map is almost the same as the map of China’s population distribution.  The air quality is good in most part of northern and northwest China. Furthermore, the hazy weather has obvious seasonal characteristic, which usually occurs in the autumn and winter.

 

Air Quality Index (AQI)

As the new standard of measurement for air quality, AQI is a quantitative description of the air quality index. The major pollutants involved in the analysis including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), inhalable particles (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO). Here PM2.5 and PM10 are measured in micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3).

According to “Technical Regulation on Ambient Air Quality Index (on trial)”, AQI is divided into six levels in total, with Level one being the best and Level six being the worst.

 

AQI and Health Implications

AQI Air Quality Health Implications
0–50 Excellent No air pollution.
51–100 Good Few hypersensitive individuals should reduce the time for outdoor activities.
101–150 Lightly Polluted Slight irritations may occur, children, and those who with breathing or heart problems should reduce outdoor exercise.
151–200 Moderately Polluted Irritations may occur, and it may have an impact on healthy people’s heart and / or respiratory system, so all people should reduce the time for outdoor exercise.
201–300 Heavily Polluted Healthy people will be noticeably affected. People with breathing or heart problems will lack exercise tolerance. Those patients, children and elders should remain indoors.
300+ Severely Polluted Even healthy people will lack endurance during activities. There may be strong irritations and symptoms. So all people should avoid outdoor activities.
 

Air Quality Rankings of Chinese Major Tourist Cities in 2020

Rank City Province belongs to AQI Air Quality Level PM 2.5 PM 10
1 Sanya Hainan 22 Excellent 10 22
2 Lijiang Yunnan 24 Excellent 12 14
3 Dali  Yunnan 24 Excellent 15 18
4 Changsha Hunan 25 Excellent 17 10
5 Haikou Hainan 28 Excellent 15 28
6 Qingdao Shandong 29 Excellent 19 29
7 Kunming Yunnan 33 Excellent 23 30
8 Lhasa Tibet 34 Excellent 15 34
9 Dalian Liaoning  43 Excellent 20 43
10 Guangzhou Guangdong 44 Excellent 30 44
11 Guiyang Guizhou 45 Excellent 31 44
12 Zhangjiakou Hebei 49 Excellent 31 49
13 Shenzhen Guangdong 55 Good 39 57
14 Zhangjiajie  Hunan 63 Good 45 51
15 Fuzhou Fujian 65 Good 47 51
16 Nanning Guangxi 68 Good 49 57
17 Guilin Guangxi 69 Good 50 55
18 Beijing Beijing 75 Good 55 66
19 Xining Qinghai 75 Good 55 74
20 Chongqing Chongqing 80 Good 59 80
21 Lanzhou Gansu 82 Good 60 95
22 Yangzhou Jiangsu 84 Good 62 78
23 Changchun Jilin 85 Good 63 64
24 Yinchuan Ningxia 89 Good 66 91
25 Xiamen Fujian 90 Good  67 73
26 Wuhan Hubei 97 Good 72 77
27 Shanghai Shanghai 97 Good 72 41
28 Shijiazhuang Hebei 98 Good 73 121
29 Suzhou Jiangsu 104 Lightly Polluted 78 88
30 Hangzhou  Zhejiang 108 Lightly Polluted  81 116
31 Shengyang Liaoning 109 Lightly Polluted 89 112
32 Hohhot Inner Mongolia 112 Lightly Polluted 84 93
33 Jinan Shandong 119 Lightly Polluted 90 125
34 Datong Shanxi 120 Lightly Polluted 91 172
35 Chengdu Sichuan 144 Lightly Polluted 110 125
36 Harbin Heilongjiang 147 Lightly Polluted 112 97
37 Nanjing  Jiangsu 153 Moderately Polluted 117 144
38 Baotou Inner Mongolia 155 Moderately Polluted 118 146
39 Tianjin Tianjin 158 Moderately Polluted 120 125
40 Taiyuan Shanxi 172 Moderately Polluted 130 182
41 Luoyang Henan 179 Moderately Polluted 135 166
42 Urumqi Xinjiang 180 Moderately Polluted 136 138
43 Hefei Anhui 189 Moderately Polluted 142 100
44 Zhengzhou Henan 200 Moderately Polluted 150 184
45 Xi'an Shaanxi 214 Heavely Polluted 164 173

Note: AQI and Air Quality Level may vary day by day; the data here is just average value for reference only.
- Last modified on Jan. 22, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on Air Pollution
Asked by Gia from USA | Oct. 20, 2019 17:07Reply
How is the air pollution in Beijing during the month of November?
Answers (1)
Answered by Swan from FRANCE | Oct. 20, 2019 18:52
00Reply


Well, based on the previous weather statistics, the air pollution would be a little bit serious during that period of time. You'd better to wear a mask.
Asked by siew cheng from MALAYSIA | Oct. 13, 2019 00:05Reply
I'm suffering from Bronchiectasis and I'm planning to visit Guangzhou in December.
How is the air pollution there ? DO I need to wear N95 mask?
Answers (2)
Answered by Charles from UNITED KINGDOM | Oct. 13, 2019 19:30
00Reply


Based on the previous weather statistics, the air pollution won't be that serious. Thus you don't need to wear N95 mask. :)
Answered by siew cheng from MALAYSIA | Oct. 14, 2019 20:08
00Reply


Thank you Charles for your swift and helpful reply.
Asked by Alain from CANADA | Oct. 10, 2019 18:34Reply
Air quality Oct 13th to 27th
Hello,

I will be going to the following destinations and would like to know if I will need a mask. I am healthy and will be doing a lot of hiking/sightseeing.

-Mutianyu Great Wall
-Guilin/Yangshuo
-Mt Fanjing near Tongren
-Fenghuang
-Zhangjiajie
-Beijing (oct 26-27th)
Answers (1)
Answered by Chase from POLAND | Oct. 13, 2019 19:32
00Reply


Well, according to the previous situations, you are suggested to wear a mask.
Asked by Patricia from THAILAND | Sep. 14, 2019 00:46Reply
Xi'an 9-18 October PM2.5
Hi I would live to visit Xi'an (around 4 days) and zhengzhou (1 day) in October. I would like to ask about the PM2.5 situations there during those mentioned times. Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Charles from DENMARK | Sep. 16, 2019 18:21
00Reply


According to the weather forecast, the air condition will be good during that period of time. You don't need to wear masks. Don't worry.
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